Google is expanding its self-driving test program by integrating its technology in the new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan. This marks the first time that Google has worked directly with an auto maker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be used later this year for Google’s self-driving testing, more than doubling the current fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Engineering responsibilities will be shared based on each company’s respective expertise. FCA will initially design and engineer around 100 vehicles uniquely built for Google’s self-driving technology. Google will integrate the suite of sensors and computers that the vehicles will rely on to navigate roads autonomously.
Both companies will co-locate part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan in the USA to accelerate the design, testing and manufacturing of the self-driving Chrysler Pacifica.
“FCA has a nimble and experienced engineering team and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan is well-suited for Google’s self-driving technology,” said John Krafcik, CEO, Google Self-Driving Car Project.
“The opportunity to work closely with FCA engineers will accelerate our efforts to develop a fully self-driving car that will make our roads safer and bring everyday destinations within reach for those who cannot drive.”
Google’s self-driving cars are currently being tested in four US cities including Mountain View, California; Austin, Texas; Kirkland, Washington; and Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans will be tested by Google’s self-driving car team on its private test track in California prior to operating on public roads.
To find out more about the project, click here to watch these short videos.
May 5, 2016